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Debunking the Myths about Telemarketing Calls to Cell Phones

CPAs & Advisors

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Don’t believe the rumors you’ve heard about telemarketers calling your cell phone. Placing telemarketing calls to wireless phones is illegal in most cases. The government doesn’t maintain a registry for wireless numbers — and it has no plans to establish one in the future — so compiling lists of wireless numbers is expensive and time consuming. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promises that most calls to cell phones will continue to be illegal even if a 411 phone directory is established for wireless numbers.

FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Most telemarketers use automated dialers, so they’re generally barred from calling consumers on their cell phones without their consent. Consumers do not have to register wireless phones with the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, although many cell phone users register for the list anyway.

Unfortunately, the rules don’t prevent exempt organizations — such as charities, researchers and pollsters — from calling your cell phone manually. In fact, many exempt organizations plan to increase the calls they make to cell phones to keep pace with people’s changing habits.

Nearly half of U.S. adults have only a cell phone, according to a recent Pew Research study. In general, these individuals tend to be younger, have lower income and education levels, and are more likely to live in urban areas than people with landlines. Reasons for opting out of landline telephone services include cost savings and frustration with unsolicited calls from telemarketing companies and researchers.

Interested in learning more? Read, 10 Facts You Should Know about the Do Not Call Registry.

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